Radical St Pancras – Part 2

Friedrich Engels lived in 122 Regents Park Road from 1870 to 1895. Jenny Marx, the wife of Karl, had helped him house hunting. Jenny and Karl were frequent visitors, as were many members of the European revolutionary socialist movement.

Wilhelm Liebknecht (‘Library’ as he was nick named by the Marx children), August Bebel, Karl Kautsky, Stepnyak, Vera Zasulich, Plekhanov (who stayed with Engels when he visited London). Others included Will Thorne, John Burns, the Chartist George Julian Harvey. Both William Morris and Kier Hardie visited at least once.

The Euston Tower was completed in 1970, one of London’s first high rise office blocks. It was certainly the largest project of its kind when it was finished – 34 storeys and twin towers. The developer was Joe Levy who had become a property tycoon in the post-war years.

At around the same time the Port of London Authority was beginning to realise it could make much more from real-estate than providing docks and wharfs. The container revolution was increasing in pace and in the process the whole of global shipping and distribution was being re-organised.

In manufacturing, automated control systems (computerisation) were increasingly being used. This combination of office development, containerisation and automation were to radically change not only the London skyline but also the character of production and life in the city. We live with the consequences today.

The hoardings in the local streets have posters explaining some of the history of St Pancras.

Built to last and to provide good quality low cost housing. It continues to work well. One might compare it to not-so-good quality, high cost housing that is built today by the volume house builders. They insist on 20 percent profits.

Oakley Square. When it was completed in the

The Working Men’s College was founded in 1854 by Christian Socialists. According to Wikipedia, in part to counter the influence of Chartism. The only issue I have with that is I don’t trust Wikipedia as a source of information. The statement will stand, with the disclaimer until I can do some proper research.

The current building is from 1905 the same year as the first Russian Revolution and the development of the Soviets as a form of direct worker’s rule. One of the best accounts of that history is still Leon Trotsky’s book, 1905.

St Pancras Hospital is a curious place. People are rarely seen and it’s possible to wander around at will.

For reasons which are unclear to me, there are a lot of reports in the British Medical Journal of the nineteenth century which describe the conditions in St Pancras. One article is an account of a family of six living in one room. A member of the family had died of scarlet fever. As there was no public mortuary in St Pancras at the time (1860s), they were living with the corpse until they could find some way for it to be removed.

The former Carreras cigarette factory. It is essentially an Art Deco building built in 1926. Four years earlier the tomb of Tutankhamun had been unearthed. An interest in ancient Egypt also had an impact on architecture.

Goldington Buildings was one of the first block of flats to be built by St Pancras Council. It was opened in 1904 to provide ‘housing for the working classes’. George Bernard Shaw was one of the St Pancras councillors who campaigned for this housing.

Park Village East was designed by John Nash. Building started in 1824 and finished in the 1830s. Wealthy then, and wealthy now.

%d bloggers like this: